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Sisi tells Egyptians he understands their worries about Renaissance Dam

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Wednesday he understands Egyptians’ worries about the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, expressing his commitment to preserve the interests of both the Ethiopian and Egyptian people.

In a speech broadcasted on Egyptian state television following the inauguration of an agricultural project to reclaim over a million acres in Egypt’s Western Desert city of Farafra, Al-Sisi touched on the Renaissance Dam crisis, saying: “I understand [Egyptians’ concerns]; because water is a matter of life and death.”

Foreign ministers of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia ended two days of meetings in Khartoum on Tuesday with the signing of a cooperation agreement aimed at resolving differences about the upcoming Renaissance Dam project.

Ethiopia began building the huge dam on the Blue Nile in 2012 and the three countries have failed since then to overcome their differences on sharing the water. Egypt believes the dam may decrease its annual share of Nile water, while the Ethiopian side stresses that the Renaissance Dam would be useful in the field of power generation and would not harm Sudan or Egypt.

On the matter, Al- Sisi said: “We are dealing [with the matter] according to what we have agreed upon with our Ethiopian brothers from the beginning. They want to live as we want to, and we should achieve the mutual interests of both of us.”

"Egyptians are worried, and I want to tell them, ‘rest assured that matters are going well, I never neglected you before, and I will not [now].’”

The issue has caused a great deal of anxiety in Egypt regarding the future of water supply in the country, with the government being criticised for its “failure” to handle the crisis.

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